Ending weeks of speculation, former US President Bill Clinton publicly acknowledged yesterday that he is eager and ready to campaign for Barack Obama, the man who defeated his wife in one of the longest Democratic primary seasons in recent memory.

However, the former President is still not making a commitment as to what his level of involvement will be at the Democratic Party convention in Denver this August.

Speaking at a news conference for his foundation, Clinton said he had not thought about whether he would like to be a convention speaker, which is a traditional role for most former Presidents at their party’s convention.

Referring to a conversation that he had with the presumptive Democratic Party nominee a few weeks back, Clinton said of his plan to campaign for Obama, “I told him that whenever he wanted me to do it, I was ready, and so it’s basically on their timetable,” Clinton said.

“He’s got a lot of things to do between now and the convention, of which this is simply one, so I’ll do whatever I’m asked to do, whenever I can do it.”

Senator Hillary Clinton has already begun her reconciliation with Senator Obama, having recently engaged in a series of joint unity fundraising events in the Northeast with her formal rival.

However, until his remarks yesterday, former President Clinton, who some speculate took his wife’s loss even harder than she did, had only issued as statement of support through a spokesperson for Senator Obama.

According to The Associated Press, at the news conference, Clinton was also asked whether he had spoken to Reverend Jesse Jackson regarding the crude off-air remark Jackson made about castrating Obama and using the N-word in what he thought was a private conversation during a taping of a Fox & Friends news programme.

Clinton told reporters that he had not spoken with Jackson, but added that Jackson was right to apologise to Obama for the comments. He also was a bit sympathetic.

“If all of us lived on live mics, then 100 percent of us in this room would be embarrassed from time to time,” Clinton said.

The Obama campaign has welcomed the former President’s support, though the question of how he will be deployed on behalf of the campaign remains unanswered.

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